Beanpole ★★★★

Raw and gut wrenching post-war Drama about two nurses who return from the frontline overcoming trauma and struggling to find hope in a defeated Russia.

Most striking, and certainly most surprising is the film’s garish colour palette. Where as most Eastern European film of this nature settle for oppressive monochromatic picturescapes, Beanpole instead offers up vibrant greens and putrid yellows, it’s effect is actually quite significant, an alienating landscape that feels claustrophobic, the harsh colours begin wearing down your defences over the course of the film as the characters struggle with harder decisions.

The performances are sublime as well, with Viktoria Miroshnichenko playing Iya, a towering doe-eyed woman who seems to have been strung along by any means necessary by her friend Masha, who is clearly manipulating her. Whilst it is a film about the two’s resilience, it’s not a hopeful film that offers up an testament to their friendship, but instead the distortion of their relationship due to their surroundings. Very fascinating filmmaking, check it out before it leaves MUBI if you have the chance.

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